Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk Review

artist: Jeff Buckley date: 03/01/2008 category: compact discs
Jeff Buckley: Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk
Release Date: May 26, 1998
Label: Columbia
Genres: Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Folk-Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 20
Sketches adds several wonderful songs to his catalog, offering further proof of his immense talent. And that, of course, is what makes the album as sad as it is exciting.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
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reviews (2) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk Reviewed by: jaymyvendetta, on june 27, 2007
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sketches for my Sweetheart The Drunk is a two-disc collection of songs Jeff had been working on after Grace, with recordings varying between fully finished studio sounds and rough four track recordings and demos. Compiled and released posthumously, this album is a glimpse of what could have been. The first disc is very nearly release quality and would have done well if it had become the finished product, despite Buckley himself being unhappy with the tracks recorded in the studio. The second disc is much rawer, and at times the unpolished production matches Jeff's moody vocals perfectly, however it can be a bit hard to listen to at first and takes a few listens to really capture you, but throughout both discs the quality of the songs themselves, and of Buckley's voice, is fantastic. The album is beautifully androgynous, being both soft and sweet enough to bring you to tears and then so masculine and rock 'n roll you simply cannot sit still. Despite the length of the songs (the whole 2 CD set lasts over and hour and a half) there are no screaming solos, instead his voice takes center stage throughout. // 9

Lyrics: As well as being a top class songwriter Jeff was also known to write poetry and made frequent appearances at poetry readings. The Sky Is A Landfill, the opening track on CD1 is one song that seems it was written as a poem first as it is beautifully constructed from start to finish. "Turn your head away from the screen, oh people,/It will tell you nothing more./Don't suck the milk of flaccid Bill K. Publics empty promise/To the people that the public can ignore./This way of life is so devised to snuff out/the mind that moves." Not every track (particularly one or two on CD2) is as well written, however it was still a work in progress. His incredible vocal range dominates the songs, especially in 'Vancouver' and album closer 'Satisfied Mind', which is delightful and engaging in true Buckley solo style. // 10

Overall Impression: This is not a good album to buy as an introduction to Jeff Buckley, I would still recommend Grace to this familiarizing themselves with his work. However once initiated you will want to pick this up. While it's not as complete an album as Grace, it certainly matches, and in some places surpasses it, in terms of quality, with the undoubted highlights of the first disc being 'The Sky Is A Landfill', 'Everybody Here Wants You' and 'Vancouver', while disc twos 'Nightmares By The Sea', 'New Year's Prayer' and 'Haven't You Heard' leave you wondering how they could have ended up sounding. If this were stolen from me I would buy it again in a heartbeat, the proves that far from being a one album wonder, he was potentially one of the greatest musical talents of recent times. // 10

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overall: 10
Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk Reviewed by: kingmenotyou, on march 01, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Each disc of 'Sketches' offers a different insight into Buckley's music. Disc 1 contains many notable sonic achievements, not least 'The Sky is a Landfill', and the incredible 'Vancouver'. Buckley also shows a softer side in 'Opened Once' and 'Morning Theft'. However, despite disc 1's achievements, it is the second disc that is of most interest. While disc 1 consists of music closer to what Buckley wanted it to become, disc 2 contains much rawer, sketchier, if you will, music. Songs found on this are by no means easy listening, songs such as 'Gunshot Glitter', 'I Know We Could...' and 'Murder Suicide Meteor Slave' are harsh on the ears but are delivered with such passion that it is impossible not to be moved by them. The poor sound quality of these tracks also give an appropriately haunting effect. // 10

Lyrics: On this album Buckley once again proves himself as a poet as well as a songwriter. While his criptic lyrics will leave some banging their heads on the floor, trying to wring meaning out of them, most will be content to be carried away by his buitiful imagary ('Just like the ocean, always in love with the moon', 'The calm below that poisoned river wide', 'Twenty-nine pearls in your kiss, a singing smile'). // 10

Overall Impression: Overall I'd rate this album higher than Grace, but not a good introduction to Buckley's music. It gives a much more varied, honest, and intense view of the man. It shows Buckley's dismissal of musical restrictions of the time in pieces like 'New Years Prayer' and the incredibly brave 'You and I', which it would take the most dedicated fan to listen through. This album also shows that despite what 'Grace' implies he did have fun. Songs like 'Haven't you Heard' and 'Your Flesh is so Nice' seem like excuses for him to enjoy himself. And, after journeying thruogh this strange sonic landscape, what could be a more appropriate end than 'Satisfied Mind'. A perfect album. // 10

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